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13 April 2009

DeJuan Blair to go pro

DeJuan Blair is renouncing his final two years of college eligibility with the Panthers and going into the NBA draft.

DeJuan Blair, who was named to the Associated Press All-America first team and the Wooden All-America Team, was the only consensus All-Big East first team selection and was named the league's co-Player of the Year, is 19 years old. The decision was widely expected by most fans and personalities in the college basketball community. He doesn't have much left to prove. He was amazingly dominant most of the season against many of the best players in the country. Blair averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds for the Panthers this season in a little more than 27 minutes per game.

For those who say he needed to return in order to develop or "work on" a jump shot - Do you think Jamie Dixon would let him out from underneath the rim? There's no way. Jamie has to look out for the best interests of the team, not any one player.

One hindrance is that he shoots 60.5% at the free throw line. That number isn't likely to get better with another season in college, though.

Blair has signed with Pittsburgh area media guy James Cook and is looking to ink marketing deals.

Starting in May, Blair will train at the IMG Basketball Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he'll work closely with trainer David Thorpe. He'll also attend the NBA camps in Chicago alongside Pitt senior Sam Young, another possible first-round selection.

It is really unknown at this point who will start at center for Pitt next season. All American Dante Taylor will start at power forward, though.

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